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Mesquite Slab Table #1: Cleaning up the slab

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Blog entry by builtinbkyn posted 04-16-2018 07:11 PM 1742 reads 0 times favorited 29 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of Mesquite Slab Table series Part 2: Working Without a Plan....... »

Last week I picked up a really nice looking slab of mesquite from Rockler of all places. It’s nice and flat and 1.5”x18”x62” roughly. Thought before I went ahead and started work on a much larger slab table using the book-matched honeylocust slabs I have for my dining table, I’d get a feel for how this work would proceed and the trials and tribulations I will obviously encounter along the way. I could use a cocktail table in the TV room, so that’s the plan for this. No design yet, but I figured I’d start the process by cleaning it up and dimensioning it.

Not sure if it will be everyone’s favorite – a “river table” – or just left as a live edge slab, but it will be something when I’m done. So stay tuned :)

-- Bill, Yo!......in Brooklyn & Steel City :)



29 comments so far

View doubleG469's profile

doubleG469

496 posts in 413 days


#1 posted 04-16-2018 07:30 PM

River that puppy! I have one I am milling from some logs and I think I am going that route as well. For me it’s the question of what type legs would look best with the mesquite (no hairpins!)

That’d also make a very nice bench.

-- Gary, Texas

View UncleBuck's profile

UncleBuck

127 posts in 49 days


#2 posted 04-16-2018 07:39 PM

river for sure , do you have any more to use for legs maybe something else for contrast good luck

-- Terry Uncle Buck Carvins "woodworking minus patience equals firewood "

View HokieKen's profile

HokieKen

4754 posts in 1107 days


#3 posted 04-16-2018 07:42 PM

I am a fan of the waterfall tables too but I have to say Bill, that slab looks pretty solid and has a nice edge and I like the character of the grain and knots. I’d vote to leave it as-is


... For me it s the question of what type legs would look best with the mesquite (no hairpins!)...

- doubleG469

Walnut would look good with Mesquite. The colors contrast nicely IMO. Any dark wood would probably look good. Iron/steel would probably look good in the right design. I agree though, no hairpins.

-- Kenny, SW VA, Go Hokies!!!

View builtinbkyn's profile

builtinbkyn

2214 posts in 909 days


#4 posted 04-16-2018 08:01 PM

Hey guys.

Gary definitely no hairpins. They may have their place in the world, but they always leave me thinking they’re just a placeholder until the legs can be figured out lol

Terry this is alls I gots lol But Kenny has an idea – waterfall table. Then I’ll only have to consider leg support on one end. That could create some kind of interesting opportunity for design.

Thanks for the idea Kenny. Hadn’t thought about the waterfall idea. I think it has ample length to make that work. I’ll have to look at it again. Cocktail table height between 16” – 20” generally. Some higher. Some lower. I think I can get a clean 60” out of the piece. So we’ll see. Maybe a 40” long table that somewhere around 18” high.

Yeah the wood is really pretty. Couldn’t pass it up. They had a thicker slab that was nice, but about a foot shorter. It also had some weird checks and cracks that would have taken a bit to deal with.

-- Bill, Yo!......in Brooklyn & Steel City :)

View Jerry's profile

Jerry

2613 posts in 1617 days


#5 posted 04-16-2018 08:08 PM

There’s not a lot of attractive choices for a table like this, I think either slab legs or trestle would be a good choice personally. It’s a beautiful piece!

-- There are good ships and there are wood ships, the ships that sail the sea, but the best ships are friendships and may they always be. http://www.geraldlhunsucker.com/

View UncleBuck's profile

UncleBuck

127 posts in 49 days


#6 posted 04-16-2018 08:11 PM



Hey guys.

Gary definitely no hairpins. They may have their place in the world, but they always leave me thinking they re just a placeholder until the legs can be figured out lol

Terry this is alls I gots lol But Kenny has an idea – waterfall table. Then I ll only have to consider leg support on one end. That could create some kind of interesting opportunity for design.

Thanks for the idea Kenny. Hadn t thought about the waterfall idea. I think it has ample length to make that work. I ll have to look at it again. Cocktail table height between 16” – 20” generally. Some higher. Some lower. I think I can get a clean 60” out of the piece. So we ll see. Maybe a 40” long table that somewhere around 18” high.

Yeah the wood is really pretty. Couldn t pass it up. They had a thicker slab that was nice, but about a foot shorter. It also had some weird checks and cracks that would have taken a bit to deal with.

- builtinbkyn


yea the waterfall idea would solve half the leg problem

-- Terry Uncle Buck Carvins "woodworking minus patience equals firewood "

View UncleBuck's profile

UncleBuck

127 posts in 49 days


#7 posted 04-16-2018 08:16 PM



I am a fan of the waterfall tables too but I have to say Bill, that slab looks pretty solid and has a nice edge and I like the character of the grain and knots. I d vote to leave it as-is

... For me it s the question of what type legs would look best with the mesquite (no hairpins!)...

- doubleG469

Walnut would look good with Mesquite. The colors contrast nicely IMO. Any dark wood would probably look good. Iron/steel would probably look good in the right design. I agree though, no hairpins.

- HokieKen


kenny i have seen the 45 degree angle cut on a large sliding table saw but is there any other way to get it good enough so it is tight.

-- Terry Uncle Buck Carvins "woodworking minus patience equals firewood "

View HokieKen's profile

HokieKen

4754 posts in 1107 days


#8 posted 04-16-2018 08:18 PM

Well you’re welcome for the brilliant waterfall suggestion Bill. However, if you re-read my post, I was actually poo-pooing on the idea ;-)

-- Kenny, SW VA, Go Hokies!!!

View HokieKen's profile

HokieKen

4754 posts in 1107 days


#9 posted 04-16-2018 08:19 PM



kenny i have seen the 45 degree angle cut on a large sliding table saw but is there any other way to get it good enough so it is tight.

- UncleBuck

Beats me Terry… I have admired the tables but never actually made one. Bill’s a pretty strong dude though. I think him and his buddy Jay Mulah can just steam bend it.

-- Kenny, SW VA, Go Hokies!!!

View UncleBuck's profile

UncleBuck

127 posts in 49 days


#10 posted 04-16-2018 08:24 PM


Hey guys.

Gary definitely no hairpins. They may have their place in the world, but they always leave me thinking they re just a placeholder until the legs can be figured out lol

Terry this is alls I gots lol But Kenny has an idea – waterfall table. Then I ll only have to consider leg support on one end. That could create some kind of interesting opportunity for design.

Thanks for the idea Kenny. Hadn t thought about the waterfall idea. I think it has ample length to make that work. I ll have to look at it again. Cocktail table height between 16” – 20” generally. Some higher. Some lower. I think I can get a clean 60” out of the piece. So we ll see. Maybe a 40” long table that somewhere around 18” high.

Yeah the wood is really pretty. Couldn t pass it up. They had a thicker slab that was nice, but about a foot shorter. It also had some weird checks and cracks that would have taken a bit to deal with.

- builtinbkyn


yea kenny i did not get the poo pooing either thought you had done one dont think i would want to mess with anyone that can bend like that lol

kenny i have seen the 45 degree angle cut on a large sliding table saw but is there any other way to get it good enough so it is tight.

- UncleBuck

Beats me Terry… I have admired the tables but never actually made one. Bill s a pretty strong dude though. I think him and his buddy Jay Mulah can just steam bend it.

- HokieKen


-- Terry Uncle Buck Carvins "woodworking minus patience equals firewood "

View AandCstyle's profile

AandCstyle

3027 posts in 2226 days


#11 posted 04-16-2018 09:28 PM


kenny i have seen the 45 degree angle cut on a large sliding table saw but is there any other way to get it good enough so it is tight.

I cut this one with my circular saw. I made a chalk line the length of the slab, then a second line perpendicular to that and clamped a fence in place to keep the cut “perfectly” straight. I wanted to use one of these, but couldn’t find one to rent. My saw didn’t cut all the way through so I finished cutting it by hand, but that wasn’t a problem since it was on the underside. HTH

-- Art

View builtinbkyn's profile

builtinbkyn

2214 posts in 909 days


#12 posted 04-16-2018 10:10 PM

LOL Jay is back in NY LOL Man you don’t let anything go :O

I read your post. I know you said leave it the way it is, but I did liked the idea after you mentioned it. :) The slab is only 18” wide. I don’t think it’s wide enough for a table, but making it a waterfall/river table, I can get it to the size that would make sense and work well. Otherwise it would need to be a bench as Gary said.

Terry, since it’s only 18” wide, it will fit on my sled. I should be able to make nice clean 45 degree cuts using it.

Thanks Jerry. I went to Rockler for a DC hose adapter, but couldn’t resist after seeing it. It’s that always the case? Happily I have a need so I don’t feel too guilty ;)

-- Bill, Yo!......in Brooklyn & Steel City :)

View builtinbkyn's profile

builtinbkyn

2214 posts in 909 days


#13 posted 04-16-2018 10:16 PM


kenny i have seen the 45 degree angle cut on a large sliding table saw but is there any other way to get it good enough so it is tight.

I cut this one with my circular saw. I made a chalk line the length of the slab, then a second line perpendicular to that and clamped a fence in place to keep the cut “perfectly” straight. I wanted to use one of these, but couldn t find one to rent. My saw didn t cut all the way through so I finished cutting it by hand, but that wasn t a problem since it was on the underside. HTH

- AandCstyle

That’s beautiful Art, but I never expect anything less from you :) Your attention to detail is always admirable and the finished product is always first class.

Oh for future reference, I believe HD tool rental has a beam saw on their list, but don’t quote me :)

-- Bill, Yo!......in Brooklyn & Steel City :)

View Andybb's profile

Andybb

922 posts in 572 days


#14 posted 04-16-2018 11:36 PM


That d also make a very nice bench.
- doubleG469

I made what I considered to be a nice looking coffee table out of a slab like that but everybody keeps sitting on it! I finally gave up and started calling it a bench. :-)

-- Andy - Seattle USA

View builtinbkyn's profile

builtinbkyn

2214 posts in 909 days


#15 posted 04-17-2018 12:09 AM


That d also make a very nice bench.
- doubleG469

I made what I considered to be a nice looking coffee table out of a slab like that but everybody keeps sitting on it! I finally gave up and started calling it a bench. :-)

- Andybb

That’s funny Andy. Just looked at your projects list. I’m guessing that’s the maple table with the hairpin legs and not the redwood table. The redwood table is striking.

-- Bill, Yo!......in Brooklyn & Steel City :)

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